MATCH REPORT | Southport 0 – 0 Solihull Moors

MATCH REPORT | Southport 0 – 0 Solihull Moors

After the feast, the famine.

Three days after Southport took part in an epic match featuring nine goals, it was perhaps typical that their next outing should end in stalemate.

On a freezing cold night, there was little to provide warmth to the fans who braved the perishing conditions, as Southport and Solihull Moors played out a goalless draw.

That said, it was quite a surprise that the match finished without either team finding the target.

If the standard of defending came in for criticism on Saturday, then the quality of finishing was probably to blame on this occasion, as chances came and went at both ends of the pitch but neither side could make them count.

Having conceded five goals at the weekend and four in the reverse fixture at Solihull in October, the obvious positive for Southport was a welcome clean sheet, although their defence still lacks the sort of assurance it displayed during the recent five-match unbeaten run.

Although Saturday’s defeat against Braintree Town was disappointing, Southport did score four times, and their early attacking play was again encouraging.

As early as the first minute, Solihull goalkeeper Danny Lewis produced a reflex save to deny Andrai Jones from in front of goal and the home team set a good tempo in the opening stages.

But Solihull ran out convincing winners when the teams last met and Akwasi Asante, who scored a hat-trick on that cocasion, was again the biggest threat to Steve Burr’s team.

After finding space inside the Southport area, Asante crashed a fizzing shot against the angle of post and crossbar, having earlier brought a low save from goalkeeper Magnus Norman, who turned the ball around his near post.

And the Solihull striker was left to wonder how he had failed to the goal on 29 minutes after taking the ball around Norman, only to send his shot into the side-netting.

Southport’s attacking play remained good and the home team were denied by two excellent saves by Lewis, the Solihull goalkeeper, either side of half-time.

First, he produced an instinctive save to thwart Jones in spectacular fashion after the Southport striker had got a touch to Ryan Higgins’ sweeping right-wing cross.

And five minutes after the re-start, Jack Higgins met a corner from Jordan Lussey with a firm header, only for Lewis to show his reflexes again.

The match could have gone either way as the second half progressed but neither team could find the quality needed to make the difference.

Ryan Higgins, who turned in another excellent performance at right-back, sent a fine cross into the feet of Jamie Allen after a strong run down the right. Allen turned neatly and tried his luck with a thumping volley but the ball dropped just wide of goal.

Although the Sandgrounders played the better football, Solihull remained a threat and the home team had Norman to thank for thwarting Asante when he was one-on-one with the Southport goalkeeper.

Jamie Osbourne also saw his header blocked on the goal-line by Josh Thompson but, having lost in frantic circumstances on Saturday, Southport would have been pleased to see a level of normality restored with a point.

 

Southport (4-4-2): Norman, R Higgins, J Higgins, Thompson, White, Weeks, Nolan, Hynes (Jerome 85), Lussey (Caton 75), Allen, A Jones.
Subs not used: Springthorpe, Grimes, Gray.

Solihull Moors (4-2-3-1): Lewis, Obeng, Daly, Gough, Franklin, Jones, Byrne, Carline, Osbourne, Dielna (Sterling 78), Asante.
Subs not used: Knight, Acton, Fagbola, White.

Attendance: 703

Referee: Tom Bramall

By Alan Jones